From Screen to Stage: 
The Luke Grimes Story

They say don’t fix what’s not broken. But some people are not built to play it safe. For people like Luke Grimes, no risk means no reward—even if that means taking an unexpected shift in life from western actor to country musician.

Luke reaches for the guitar, and the anxiety of expectations lingers in the air. The boxy recording studio stands in stark contrast to the breathtaking landscapes of Montana where he currently resides, but Luke is determined to make it his own. While he has already demonstrated his artistic prowess as an actor, he now sets his sights on a long–dormant passion, ready to share his love of music with the world.

As his fingers gently graze the strings, Luke considers the challenges that lie ahead in the uncharted territory of a career in music. This is much more than a hobby—the stakes are high.

But he charges ahead, eager to accomplish something he had yearned for since childhood. In defying the norms as an actor–turned–musician, he embarks on a quest for musical greatness, guided by an unwavering sense of gratitude and a burning desire for genuine connection.

A Musician at Heart

At the core of Luke Grimes' acting ethos lies a profound ability to connect with his audience by being vulnerable. But his interest in connection began long before his acting career took flight. When he was 11, Luke picked up the drums to fill in at his church, and he has continued to make music ever since.

When the time came to choose between the two, Luke went with acting. But his passion for music, a product of his upbringing, only grew stronger over the years.

Country music's something I was raised on, Luke explains. In Dayton, Ohio where I grew up, there's more country stations than any other station. It was just a huge part of my upbringing.

Luke moved to New York to attend acting school at 18. While honing his craft as a student, he continued drumming in bands, stoking the flames of another passion he could never let go of. To Luke, these crafts are distinctive, but they serve the same purpose—to connect with others through personal expression.

The biggest challenge with any art form is making things that you're proud of and that other people like, Luke says. It doesn’t need to be a huge financial success. I just hope it connects with people.

Luke made his acting debut in 2006. His acting career was ramping up while a love of music quietly simmered below the surface. 
He tabled his talent temporarily, waiting for the right moment to fully dedicate his time and energy.

Making the Leap

For many, a remarkable acting career capped off by a monumental role would be cause for celebration and relaxation. But Luke Grimes is not one to rest on his laurels.

At the height of his acting career, Luke took a leap of faith into the music world. The risks were real.

I basically thought, ‘I'm going to take a swing at this, and if it goes bad—if it turns out to be something that's laughable—then not only have I failed at the music, but I could very possibly ruin my acting career, Luke says.

In Luke’s eyes, he has everything to lose. The risk of venturing into new territory is amplified by his fame as an actor, casting doubt on his ability to do both. Luke faces the immense task of overcoming assumptions about actors-turned-musicians and proving his worth in this new industry.

To me, acting and music don’t feel so different, Luke explains. But to the people who are used to seeing me over here in this lane, it's going to be a challenge to get them to accept me in another. It might help me get more attention, but then it better be good or it's going to end right away.

There is also an emotional risk that comes from sharing your vulnerable side through music. An actor, on some level, is shielded by the character they are portraying. But as a music artist, you expose your inner truth.

As a musician you really have to put yourself out there, open yourself up, and say, ‘These are my thoughts, my feelings. This is who I really am,’ on a stage in front of people. And if they reject it and don't like it, that could really hurt.

Despite these risks, Luke Grimes has pressed forward. The lessons he learned from the hardworking cowboys he encountered in Montana helped foster an unbreakable work ethic and optimism that has fueled his commitment to the craft.

The cowboys I’ve met—they're not these broody movie versions of a cowboy that are always angry, Luke recalls. They're kind, funny, humble dudes, and the hard work makes them that way. And they enjoy their lives more than most people that work way less.

Clear Motivations

Luke Grimes is not interested in fame or validation. He pursues music for deeper reasons.

Life is so much more about family now, and being selfish is just harder, Luke explains. Thinking about my wife and the kids we may have one day—it just gives me another reason to do what I do.

That selfless outlook, combined with a hardened work ethic, is the key to Luke Grimes’ continued success. As he looks ahead at his future in both acting and music, he is eager to carve a path filled with family and gratitude.

I want to make a really nice life for my wife and I, Luke says. And if I make that happen by doing the things that I love, I can't imagine a better way to live.